On Saturday night, Dax McCarty will likely continue his climb up the Major League Soccer all-time appearance list for field players when Nashville SC visits Atlanta United on Saturday night (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada). But can he catch Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman?
Entering the weekend, McCarty and his 365 career appearances are 125 behind the 490 (!) made by Beckerman, the league's all time appearance leader for field players, and at 33 he is five years younger. Presuming he plays against Atlanta, he'll move into a tie for eighth on the all-time list with former Houston Dynamo and D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell. By the end of the 2020 season, he could be as high as sixth.
MLS all-time appearance leaders
(Field players only)
Additionally, McCarty's 29,641 career minutes put him ninth on the all-time minutes list among field players, surpassing Dynamo legend Brad Davis.
For those rooting for McCarty, the good news is he's been pretty darn healthy, making at least 26 appearances in each of the last nine seasons.
The bad news? Nearly everything would have to go right. If Beckerman retired today, the earliest McCarty could pass him is early in the 2024 season, and that's assuming McCarty would not miss a single game between now and then, and not retire, of course. A more honest projection would see a completely healthy McCarty reach 490 games in late 2024. And there's the fact that Beckerman told MLSsoccer.com's own Charles Boehm that he doesn't particularly see an end of the road yet.
Of course, there are other active players on the list as well: Atlanta's Jeff Larentowicz, the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski and the Colorado Rapids' Kei Kamara. But with age factored in, McCarty has the best shot at supplanting Beckerman.
Whatever happens, it can only happen one game at a time. Which is one more reason to tune in Saturday night.